Thursday, November 13, 2014

It's OK Deng, It's Really OK...

To the Mom of a Nursing Toddler

It’s ok that you’re the only one who can get your child to take a nap.
It’s ok that you’re the only one who can put your child to sleep at night.
It’s ok that you can’t imagine a night away from your child.
It’s ok that you can imagine a night away from your child.
It’s ok that you sometimes resent your child’s very big need for you.
It’s ok that you sometimes feel so full with radiant love when you think of your child’s very big need for you.
It’s ok that your child always, sometimes, “still” nurses in the middle of the night.
It’s ok that you offer to nurse your child when you are tired and you want to sit still on the couch for a few minutes.
It’s ok that you offer to nurse your child to ward off a tantrum.
It’s ok that you “still” offer the breast.
It’s ok that you sometimes really, really don’t want to nurse and you offer something else instead.
It’s ok that you sometimes feel touched out.
It’s ok that your skin sometimes crawls while you nurse.
It’s ok that you spend lots of nursing sessions zoned out on your phone.
It’s ok that you find warm, cozy pleasure in nursing your child.
It’s ok that you can’t imagine not sleeping right beside your child.
It’s ok that your child doesn’t sleep with you so much anymore.
It’s ok that you don’t know when you’ll wean.
It’s ok that you have no idea how your child will ever stop nursing.
It’s ok that you have a plan to gently, slowly wean your child.
It’s ok that you want to speed things along with weaning.
It’s ok that your nursing toddler nurses more than your friend’s nursing toddler.
It’s ok that your nursing toddler nurses less than your friend’s nursing toddler.
It’s ok that nursing glues the two of you together, and you “still” often feel lost when you are separated from your child.
It’s ok to wonder when you will have your life back, your body back, your sleep back.
It’s ok to savor the smell of the two of you melding together.
It’s ok to not want your old life of “freedom” back.
It’s ok to want only this.
It’s ok to resent this.
It’s ok to feel all the feelings all at once.
All of it is normal.
Mammals have nursed their babies into toddlerhood and beyond for millions of years, feeling the complexity of emotions along the way.
Nursing never has and never will look just one way for every mother and child.
Listen to your child, listen to yourself.
Accept what is. Don’t read into things too much. Go with your instincts.
Feel the love.